It’s a fact – spending an hour in the garden will help you burn up to 100 more calories than working out in the gym for the same amount of time.
Gardeners are such optimists… and we need to be, given the brutal weather that is forcing us to hold back on spring activities in the garden. It is just too cold to be planting, unless you have a heated greenhouse.
Everywhere you go this week and into the weekend you will see signs telling you to buy plants for Mother’s Day. Markets, supermarkets, garden centres and farmer’s markets – they are all displaying wonderful pots of spring bulbs and bunches of fabulous flowers for Mother’s Day gifts.
Valentine’s Day at the Garden & Home Press Event at the Barbican Exhibition Centre, London, was lively and full of information about products, plants, gardens and gardening people.
I am getting ready to go to the Barbican on Valentine’s Day to spend the day ‘loving gardening’. Will there be red roses and fizz, I wonder?
Growbags are a mixed blessing, but they are useful if you have a small space, such as a balcony or terrace and you want to grow a few salad vegetables; they are your best choice. Each growbag will only hold three plants (usually tomatoes, courgettes and chillies), so you want the plants to thrive for maximum harvest.
All ready then? The garden put to bed until next year? Well, yes and no – in my case. Most things are sorted. The tools are all hung up in the shed, the raised beds where I am growing salad leaves, hardy perennial herbs and oriental leaves, are all wrapped in fleece (to protect them from frosts etc, and also from pigeons and cats using the beds).
If I were writing a letter to a jolly green and yellow gardening Santa this Christmas I would want a few pieces of kit, as well as some garden features that would make my gardening life more attractive and varied. I do have a pond, but it is a tiny apology for a pond. I would like it to be larger and to have wonderful plants in it, such as waterlilies.
Childhood memories of my mother’s collection of amaryllis in flower drive me annually to purchase these great packages of future delight. Bulbs of any sort offer deferred pleasure to the gardeners, but amaryllis seem so celebratory. Amaryllis flowers open on tall fleshy stems from large buds, and provide rich velvety colour over a long period.
Well, have you got yours yet? It is that time of year to buy a Christmas tree and get it set up and decorated. Last weekend I went to Blackthorpe Barn (www.blackthorpebarn.co.uk) where until 22 December you can buy a potted Christmas tree or a cut tree for your festivities.